Brugnatelli, Luigi Valentino


Luigi Valentino Brugnatelli (Pavia, February 14th 1761 – Pavia, October 1818) came from an underprivileged family. At first, he dedicated himself to commerce and engineer work, and only later started studying medicine. After graduation and a short apprenticeship, he proceeded to study chemistry, a field he had been introduced to by Giovanni Antonio Scopoli. In 1796 he was nominated professor of Chemistry.

He was friend and correspondent of Alessandro Volta, whom he accompanied in a few research trips.

His scientific production was extensive: 130 between pamphlets and memoires and 4 bigger works, such as the Treaty on elementary general chemistry (first text of its kind in Italy, 4 editions), General pharmacopoeia, Vegetal and animal medic matters, Human Lithology.

To Brugnatelli is owed the discovery of numerous compounds, the finding of uric acid in silkworm excrements and fine, remarkable studies on electrolysis – back then just taking its first steps.

Among his merits was the creation of several periodical publications, which between the years 1788 and 1827 gathered and spread, in Italian language, the most notable works of the time in all the experimental sciences. He founded the Physics European Library (1788), the Chemistry Annals (1790) – the first Italian chemistry magazine – and the Journal of Physics and Natural History (1808).